Muhammed Lawal is no longer a Zuffa employee.
Sherdog.com confirmed with Lawal and his manager, Mike Kogan, that the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion was today released from his contract. MMAJunkie.com first reported the news on Tuesday evening, citing UFC President Dana White.
The fighter’s Strikeforce departure comes on the heels of his disciplinary hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the result of which was a $39,000 fine and a nine-month suspension. Lawal tested positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone following his Jan. 7 knockout victory over Lorenz Larkin, which was today changed to a no contest at the NSAC hearing.
Though the commission weighed Lawal’s explanation that an over-the-counter supplement produced the positive test, the information ultimately did not sway the verdict.
At one point during the hearing, commissioner Pat Lundvall reportedly asked Lawal if he could read and understand English in regard to the standard pre-fight questionnaire that requires fighters to list any supplements they are taking as well as any injuries they may have sustained.
Following the hearing, Lawal took to Twitter, expressing his opinion regarding Lundvall’s line of questioning. According to Kogan, it was the following comment, specifically, the word “bitch,” that led to Lawal’s release.
“I honestly feel like Lundvall was a racist bitch [for] asking me if I can read or speak English,” Lawal wrote. “Go on somewhere with that bulls--t, bitch!”
Lawal’s most recent outing against Larkin marks his only in-cage appearance of 2012 to date. The former NCAA Division II wrestling champion began his pro career in 2008, rattling off seven consecutive wins that culminated with his April 2010 victory over Gegard Mousasi to claim the Strikeforce light heavyweight title. “King Mo” relinquished the belt in his first defense, however, falling by technical knockout to Rafael Cavalcante later that year. Lawal competed just once last year after recovering from knee surgery, knocking out Roger Gracie this past September.